Never underestimate the healing powers of nature. When faced with an abandoned quarry site at the eastern edge of the heavily polluted Taihu Lake, Suzhou City came up with an unconventional plan: open a park. Or, rather, rehabilitate the landscape, work to remediate the contaminated water and then open a park. The community had a particularly pressing need for more green space given China’s rural–urban migration, which had led a significant number of former farmers to Suzhou City only to leave them longing for better access to nature. Design firm Turenscape met their needs by using cut-and-fill to construct a wetland accented with several patches of farmland ready for cultivating community crops. Closer to the lake, the terrain shifts to an ecosystem designed to purify the water and filter future runoff. To underscore the project’s success at presenting a clear path forward, a raised boardwalk lined with a bright red fibreglass bench runs throughout the 43-hectare corridor.
Project Suzhou Zhenshan Park Location Suzhou City, China Firm Turenscape, China Team Kongjian Yu with Jing Zhu, Minghui Ban, Yuan Fang and Hongqian Yu Photo Kongjian Yu